No Mismanagement, Rise In Shapoorji Pallonji Group Valuation: Tatas Tell Top Court

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The Tatas on Wednesday countered in the Supreme Court, the accusation of mismanagement of Tata Sons and said that even according to the claim of Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) group, valuation of their 18.37 per cent stake in the company rose from 58,000 crore in 2016 to ₹ 1.75 lakh crore in 2020.

The Tata firms told the top court that unless the losses were so enormous and there was a lack of probity which left no other option but to remove the majority shareholders of the company, the NCLAT could not have reached the conclusion including that of restoring Cyrus Mistry as executive chairman.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian was told by senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the Tatas that in the cross appeal which they have filed in the top court, SP Group has claimed their value of shares as ₹ 1.5 lakh crore.

He said that according to an application filed by them (Mistry side) in which they have sought 18 per cent in all downstream Tata companies; their value of shares was ₹ 1.75 lakh crore.

“So, if we go by their claims, it is a strange management which has mismanaged the company but still took their valuation from ₹ 58000 crore in 2016 to ₹ 1.75 lakh crore in 2020”, Mr Salve said.

The bench is hearing cross appeals filed by Tata Sons and Cyrus Investments against appellate tribunal NCLAT’s order which had restored Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairman of the over USD 100 billion salt-to-software Tata conglomerate.

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Mr Salve referred to allegations of undue favour to businessman C Sivasankaran, who was granted contracts by Tata Teleservices and said that all transactions were pure commercial and there was no lack of probity in any of them.

He said Pallonji Mistry is a business man of eminence and he was with Tata Group till 2004 and there was no issue with any of the decision taken then.

Similarly, Mr Mistry joined in 2006 and he did not have any disagreement till 2012, Mr Salve said.

The bench told Mr Salve that his argument is that the tribunal (NCLAT) did not look at the probity aspect and therefore it could not have concluded that it was just and equitable to wind up.